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April 08, 2006


There aren't many Buddhists left in India either. Satyagraha, non-violent resistance, isn't too popular there or here these days, nor is searching for a meaning deeper than the glamor of material possessions.

Maybe in the aftermath of the Iranian War, when we have to pay $6 a gallon for what gas we can get and the dollar is worth even fewer tchotchkes than ever, those of us not waiting for the rapture will have time to contemplate those things.


off topic - EW i saw you mention over at booman's place that you were looking for a reference to karen kwiatkowski saying that Niger didn't come through OSP. it's here

Yes, Gandhi. Please.

I was surprised long after reading Ghandi's autobiography in a freshman literature class, to hear the critics describe his eccentricity, whereas his own tale told by himself in print seems more like an inner search for planetary peace in times of interracial tensions.
I like a more unobtrusive style of quest, though the person pictured in this link started a mid size school in the US which has a name something like peace, in existence still near the coastine in southern CA.

Planing in advance I thought you might stop on your itinerary in a curio shop and purchase a model of a building, which floats to take with you when you attend a panel in a few months, but perhaps other souveniers are more appropriate. You would know best. I had considered some background research on one of the other speakers to appear on that panel, and found a drawing of the famous beach alongside the faculty housing at the college which Amb-W attended; according to his official biography, and according to a less reverent autobiographical interview the years of his attendance were a difficult time to be trying to attend the University in Isla Vista, as this onine historical retrospective shows in somewhat extravagant terms.

Nonviolent action derives its power from the sacrifice made by its practitioners. For the last thirty years or so in the United States, much non-violent "action" has been more a form of theater practiced by well-meaning middle class white people. The recent immigrant marches had a flavor suggesting we might see a more authentic variant.



great read.

I just finished Taylor Branch's final book in the Martin Luther King Trilogy, At Canaan's Edge, and the demnise of non-violence on the American Scene is one of Branch's major themes. What he does is Place King, with his firm belief in and commitment to non-violence in a dynamic sandwich -- Black Power and at least verbal assent to violent resistance on one side, and the Violence of the Vietman war on the other -- with King constantly being pressured to lend his personhood to an anti-war movement he had no hand in constructing, and which he was not certain was honestly committed to non-violent direct action as a philosophy as opposed to an occassional tactic. The third Branch volume covers four years -- Selma to Memphis -- early 65 through April, 1968.

By the time of King's death he was about the only Civil Rights movement figure still on the record as totally committed to Non-Violence, and unwilling to consider alternativ philosophies. It is ironic that an essentially moral and non-violent movement accomplished major success -- 64 Civil Rights Bill, Voting Rights -- depending primarily on this philosophy and its tactics, but with success then walked away from most of it at the victory party -- and much the same happened in India after 1947.

My family lived in DC and we'd only go to the mall when someone visited, maybe it's a similar thing with Gandhi's house.

India must be fun, I'd like to visit there.

Make that "Mall."

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